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Respir Care. 2018 Mar 13. pii: respcare.05952. doi: 10.4187/respcare.05952. [Epub ahead of print]

Pulmonary Contusion in Mechanically Ventilated Subjects After Severe Trauma.

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Division of Acute Care Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
Division of Acute Care Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.



Pulmonary contusions are thought to worsen outcomes. We aimed to evaluate the effects of pulmonary contusion on mechanically ventilated trauma subjects with severe thoracic injuries and hypothesized that contusion would not increase morbidity.


We conducted a single-center, retrospective review of 163 severely injured trauma subjects (injury severity score ≥ 15) with severe thoracic injury (chest abbreviated injury score ≥ 3), who required mechanical ventilation for >24 h at a verified Level 1 trauma center. Subject data were analyzed for those with radiographic documentation of pulmonary contusion and those without. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the effects of coexisting pulmonary contusion in severe thoracic trauma.


Pulmonary contusion was present in 91 subjects (55.8%), whereas 72 (44.2%) did not have pulmonary contusions. Mean chest abbreviated injury score (3.54 vs 3.47, P = .53) and mean injury severity score (32.6 vs 30.2, P = .12) were similar. There was no difference in mortality (11 [12.1%] vs 9 [12.5%], P > .99) or length of stay (16.29 d vs 17.29 d, P = .60). Frequency of ventilator-associated pneumonia was comparable (43 [47.3%] vs 32 [44.4%], P = .75). Subjects with contusions were more likely to grow methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus in culture (33 vs 10, P = .004) as opposed to Pseudomonas aeruginosa in culture (6 vs 13, P = .003).


Overall, no significant differences were noted in mortality, length of stay, or pneumonia rates between severely injured trauma subjects with and without pulmonary contusions.


ARDS; outcomes; pulmonary contusion; thoracic; trauma; ventilator-associated pneumonia


Conflict of interest statement

The authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest.

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